Friday, March 1, 2013

A Pig with Earrings Is Still a Pig

A Pig with Earrings Is Still a Pig
P. Schultz
March 1, 2013

            There is an old saying that if you put earrings and make-up on a pig you still have a pig! Indeed and below is an article from the NY Times today that is the “intellectual” version of putting earrings on a pig. This guy argues that sequestration is about “a deep philosophical divide” between the Republicans and the Democrats. And then he writes:

“But a step back [from the current rhetoric] illuminates roots deeper than the prevailing notion that Washington politicians are simply fools acting for electoral advantage or partisan spite.”

            Now, to be clear, I agree with Harwood that our politicians are not “simply fools” but am laughing at the thought that Harwood wants to turn this into a “philosophic” dispute. This reminds of my life experiences in academe where what is called “curriculum review and reform” is always dressed up as a “philosophical” dispute when, in fact, it is almost always merely a turf battle. Different departments want to preserve their “turf” so they their departments can retain their power and status within the institution.

            And this is precisely what is happening here, a turf battle both between and within our “two” parties. Of course, our politicians are not as adept as are academics at dressing up their disputes as “philosophic.” But then politicians are not as well rehearsed in using “philosophic” language and not the “intellectual bullies” that academics are.

            Still, this is what passes for “analysis” in our “paper of record.” And with this kind of analysis we can go on living in our delusional world, hoping things will get better when they will not and even cannot. And they cannot because those with the power are not actually interested in making things better but are only interested in preserving their power and status.  

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